Expansion of Temple Adas Israel Up For Public Hearing Next Month

Rabbi Dan Geffen in front of Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor. File photo.

The Sag Harbor Historic Preservation & Architectural Review Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed expansion of Temple Adas Israel, Long Island’s oldest synagogue, on January 9.

A historic photo taken in the early 1900s in front of Temple Adas Israel. The new temple design aims to pay homage to the temple’s architectural history.

The two-story addition preserves the synagogue as it stands today, will make the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and expand its social hall as well as educational classroom space with a design that pays homage to the original building, constructed in the late 1800s, through the inclusion of two piasters on either side of the main entrance. To accommodate the addition, the parking lot will be configured with new landscaping proposed as well.

“We are trying to create the original look of the 120-year-old building,” said board member Richard Hemley to members of the HPARB on Thursday, December 19.

Having already earned variances for the project from the village’s zoning board of appeals, attorney Dennis Downes noted the final approval rests in that board’s lap. “We have a site plan now that conforms to code,” he said. “Basically, it is now up to this board to help us get back to 1988.”

“I think it looks like a good project,” said HPARB historical consultant Zachary Studenroth to the board. “It is putting back a historic feature unnecessarily and that is a plus and I feel the additions proposed are respectful of the original structure, so it falls within your guidelines.”

Board members concurred, although member David Berridge did express some concerns with the ability to maintain two front windows with the proposed addition and said he looked forward to seeing formal plans at the public hearing. Chairman Dean Gomolka also asked for a landscape plan in advance of that session.

The January 9 meeting of the HPARB will take place at 5 p.m.